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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

August 13, 2008

Pay and Play Olympics

Yes, in the Olympic spirit and with the knowledge that school and parish programming is upon us, consider this outdoor icebreaker as a way to bring a class or group together, raise money, and have some fun.

What's Needed:
a large football field with at least one goal post
softball, 6 hula hoops, several cones, plastic baseball, plastic baseball bat, four-square ball
a scorekeeper for each event
other items for any other games you choose

In "Pay and Play Olympics" teenagers pay a quarter to participate in each field event. Scores are recorded for each person at each event. At the end of the competition, a percentage of the event profits (e.g., $1) is given to the person with the winning score. Listed below are some events you can include for this outdoor event. Feel free to add some others!

Obstacle Course.Mark an obstacle course with cones around the football field and surrounding area. The course may include running up bleachers, climbing over a low fence, navigating a patch through bushes or woods as well as running on the field. Record the times for each participant.

Softball throw.Set up six hula hoops in three rows of 3, 2, and 1 in a pyramid form on the 50 yard line of the field. Have the participants remain behind a line (e.g., the the 20 yard line for stronger throwers, 35 yard line for weaker throwers) and throw a softball aiming for the hula hoops. Allow three throws per quarter. Award points based on particular hula hoops where the ball lands.

Home Run Derby.Use cones to set up three "home run lines" with a graduating value of points as follows: 10, 5, 1 based on distance.

Give each batter five swings for a quarter. A fly ball landing in one of the sections give that number of points. Total all of the points for five rounds to give a person a score.

Rubber Ball Field Goal Contest. Using a rubber dodge ball, have the participants attempt field goals through the football uprights. Allow them three kids per quarter and to choose the yard line from which they will attempt the kick. The only rule is that the ball must be kicked from the ground (no punts). record the yard line of the farthest successful kick for each person.

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